A whole new generation of Australian sports fans are discovering legendary boxer Lionel Rose after the former world champion was featured as a Google Doodle.
Rose is one of the finest fighters Australia has ever produced and his victory over Japan’s Fighting Harada in 1968 to claim the bantamweight title made him this country’s first Indigenous world champion.
The doodle, created by Sydney artist Mark Munk Ross, commemorates the day Rose was inducted into the Sport Australian Hall of Fame in 1985.
“This topic was meaningful to me personally being a Jardwadjali/Wotjobaluk man, and Lionel being a Gunditjmara man,” Ross told Google.
“Both of us belonging to Western Kulin nations means a lot. Lionel is such a trailblazer and role model for many, including myself.
“I felt immense pride [when the doodle was commissioned]. So proud to have the opportunity to pay tribute to a true Australian legend & icon.
“I would like to think that people will see a world champion boxer, a #1 recording artist, and a triumphant advocate for First Nations people of Australia.”
Born in abject poverty in Jackson’s Track, Victoria, in 1948, Rose was a proud Gunditjmara man who turned professional at the age of 16 in 1964.